Chloasma and Melasma are a type of pigmentation closely related to both hormonal changes and sun rays. These types of pigmentation often cover large patchy areas and will darken during the summer months or through exposure to sunlight. The areas that are most commonly affected are the cheeks, upper lip, bridge of the nose and forehead.
• Chloasma is usually related to pregnancy and often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’. It impacts the majority of pregnancies, affecting up to 50% to 70% of expectant mothers. It develops most commonly on the face but can occur on other body areas. Chloasma is due to the stimulation of female sex hormones during pregnancy, they release more melanin pigments causing dark patches on the skin and sun exposure can also trigger these to become darker and more prominent.
• Melasma can usually be associated with a change in contraceptive pill, IUD or a hormone patch. It can also be associated with higher levels of Oestrogen at certain times during the menstrual cycle and the way the skin then reacts to sunlight. Only 10% of those affected are men.